Bottoms Up

5 Best Glute Exercises

My Top 5 Glute Exercises

There’s no denying over the past years big bottoms have made a welcome resurgence. Breasts have been relegated and it seems every women hankers after a lifted, pert bottom with ample volume. I personally think that this a far more egalitarian body trend.  Unlike like large breasts which require augmentation, a shapely derriere is within anybody’s reach with the requisite hard graft and dedication. That’s surely part of it’s appeal?

I’ve worked with a number of trainers over the years and have found that without exception the following exercises are best for creating killer curves.


Squats sometimes receive a bad rap. Many women want to increase volume in their bottom without increasing the size of their legs. Squats performed incorrectly undoubtedly have this unwanted side effect.

In many instances people focus too much on the weight they are lifting and ignore the one fundamental for correct glute activation, squatting low, as low as you can go. Squatting low means that your drive up through the glutes, through your heels, almost like you are pushing the floor away from you. The body needs to be in an upright position, not bent forward and the abs need to be engaged. What I love about squats is that it is a total body workout, every muscle is engaged and this is great for scorching calories.


I must confess I hate lunges. I always half dread their inclusion in my routine, but I know that they are excellent for the ass. There is obviously the standard lunge, but also interesting variations such as the curtesy lunge which targets different areas.  Recently my trainer has added an evil variation with a Bosu ball but it’s too heinous to go into detail…..

Weighted Hip Thrusts/Glute Bridges

If there is one move that I always include in my butt workout repertoire it’s the hip thrust or glute bridge.  True it’s not the most elegant of moves, but it is seriously amazing at isolating the area, feeling the burn and activating the glutes.  It’s perfect for people who are unable to squat or lunge and gives equally impressive results.

Straight Leg Deadlift

The straight leg deadlift doesn’t target the glutes exclusively but rather the posterior chain. To have a well defined bottom it’s important to have strong hamstrings, yet many people, myself included are quad dominant. This means when we perform exercises we activate the incorrect muscle to the one we desire to be working.

The straight leg deadlift is one of the best exercises to work the hamstrings and glutes in synergy.  Yet it is notoriously danger ridden if utilised with incorrect form. I would advise always performing with a trainer if you are unsure of the movement.

Donkey Kick Backs

I don’t think these small isolation movements will ever go out of fashion. Personally I find them tedious and I must confess that I really have to force myself to do them   However, I can personally attest that they are effective.

I’m not down with all Tracey Anderson’s training techniques or philosophies but I do credit her for creating a kick ass butt workout with it’s a zillion different variations on this classic move.  I took the dvd  (The Method) on holiday with me once and by the end of two weeks had buns of steel!

For an excellent summary of the best glute exercises try this article from Form Nutrition.